Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Writing Rules! Advice From The Times on Writing Well - NYTimes.com

In Writing Rules! Advice From The Times on Writing Well, my favorites are rules five and nine. Here are a few excerpts from those two rules, and from one of the cross-linked readings.

Rule five, Study Sentences, comprises two related suggestions:
Look for examples of interesting sentence structure and sentence variety in a work you are studying or reading, then write your own "copy-change” versionsin which you borrow another author’s structure and use it to create your own piece. 
You might also consider excerpts from children’s book[-s] to review sound literary devices and explore the music that sentences make.
(Rule 5: Study Sentences, ¶¶4-5, italics added)

A Pomegranate Words page illustrates the "copy-change" process with poetry, if you follow the first link in the passage above. Yet the process of imitating sentence structure–not copying content–applies equally to prose, as does the advice on that page to give credit to your sources:
If there's no trace of the source, you don't need to give anyone else credit. If, on the other hand, evidence of the original structure remains, you should give a nod to the first writer in some way.
(Pomegranate Words, 2008, Poetry: Copy Change (Imitation), ¶2).

Rule nine, Fail, again from the Times, may sound a bit too adventurous–until you read the explanations. Though the subject heading, "Fail," is an attention grabber, the point is to learn from your mistakes by collecting and reflecting on your written work:
Value mistakes, and the successes that grow from them, by keeping a portfolio of your work, including revisions and editing exercises. You might even reflect in writing on how your writing has progressed....
(Rule 9: Fail, ¶2, italics added)

The suggestions that I've highlighted above should seem quite familiar to you by now. If they don't, please ask about them either in class, or in comments on this post.

[312 words]

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fluency MC does collos!

Just connected with an edu-rapper, Fluency MC (Jason R. Levine), who creates music videos highlighting what he calls "collos" (short for collocations) of English vocabulary. In a recent conversation with Dr. Nellie Deutsch (WizIQ: Conversation with Jase: Teacher, Trainer[,] and Entertainer, 2012.09.20), he suggested that he might come to Japan in the future.

On his YouTube page, Levine defines a collo as "a high frequency CHUNK of language" (About Fluency MC). The following featured video, posted less than 24 hours ago, presents dozens of verb+noun collos to help English-as-an-additional language learners remember ways to use the verbs make and do.


If you like that, be sure to check out other videos in his English/EFL/ESL ColloLearn playlist. There are 34 of them as of today.
[125 words]

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pointers to videos from the LLD Project Blog

In this post, I'm replicating a post on the Language Learner Development Project Blog with the author's permission. I want to share, here, the same pointers to a collection of videos for listening comprehension that I did on that blog.
If you're looking for a bit of variety or a change in pace in video viewing, you should check out Ms. Haquet's video resource collection. I have no doubt you'll find other videos there that are challenging to listen to, as well as interesting to watch.

[85 words, above and beyond the 70+ from the other post]
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